Gospel Guidebook: Getting and Keeping It Right  한국어    日本語

How Many Gods Are There in John 1:1?

Oneness believer: "How many gods do you have in John 1:1?"

Trinitarian: "What do you mean? There is only one God in that verse."

Oneness believer: "The Word was with God, and the Word was God. Are you saying that both instances of the word 'God' refer to the same God?"

Trinitarian: "Same God, but different persons."

Oneness believer: "Okay, so which person does the first instance of God refer to?"

Trinitarian: "The Father."

Oneness believer: "Which person does the second instance of God refer to?"

Trinitarian: "The Son."

Oneness believer: "Who does the Word refer to?"

Trinitarian: "The Word is the Son."

Oneness believer: "So, if what you say is true, John is really saying 'In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was the Son.'"

Trinitarian: "No, you can't do that."

Oneness believer: "But you said the second instance of God was the Son."

Trinitarian: "It's the same God but different person."

Oneness believer: "Yes, we just followed your logic through John 1:1, and you end up with 'and the Son was the Son.' Something seems wrong with your 'Same God, different person' logic."

Trinitarian: "There's nothing wrong with my logic. You're just a moron. It's the same God."

Oneness believer: "Which God? The Trinity?"

Trinitarian: "Yes, God is a trinity and his persons correspond to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

Oneness believer: "Does the word 'God' in John 1:1 refer to the trinity?"

Trinitarian: "Yes."

Oneness believer: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Trinity, and the Word was the Trinity. Is that correct?"

Trinitarian: "You can't do that. God in that verse refers to two different persons."

Oneness believer: "Yeah, but following that logic, we end up with 'and the Son was the Son.'"

Trinitarian: "It is obvious you don't understand Greek. The second instance of 'God' actually means 'divine.'"

Oneness believer: "But the word for 'God' in Greek is a noun, not an adjective. 'Divine' is an adjective and refers to a different Greek word."

Trinitarian: "This is why I said you obviously don't understand Greek. The noun is being used as an adjective. That is a possible use of the noun."

Oneness believer: "Okay, but it just seem like John could have used an adjective if he meant an adjective."

Trinitarian: "Just take one semester of Greek and you'll see how simple this is."

Oneness believer: "Then why do most translations of John 1:1 say 'God'?"

Trinitarian: "This use of the noun for an adjective in John 1:1 is based on new scholarship. Some of the new translations are adopting it."

Oneness believer: "So, I guess the old translators would have failed first-semester Greek."

Trinitarian: "Look, translating it as 'God' is not wrong, but new scholarship shows that it should be translated as 'divine'."

Oneness believer: "Okay, I'll take your word for it. By the way, whose divinity is it referring to?"

Trinitarian: "What do you mean?"

Oneness believer: "If we translate the second instance of 'God' as 'divine,' then we get 'The Word was divine.' Whose divinity did the Word have? The divinity must have come from one of the persons of the Trinity, right? Or was the divinity the Trinity itself?"

Trinitarian: "The Word had the Son's divinity."

Oneness believer: "But you said the Word was the Son."

Trinitarian: "Yes, that's right."

Oneness believer: "So, this means that the Son had the Son's divinity. That's a tautology."

Trinitarian: "I see what you're doing. You can't do that."

Oneness believer: "But your logic keeps getting us back to the same problems."

Trinitarian: "You just don't get it. You just have to believe the Trinity."

Oneness believer: "Why?"

Trinitarian: "Because if you don't believe in the Trinity, you can't be saved!"

Oneness believer: "But didn't Jesus say that whoever believes in Him has eternal life?"

Trinitarian: "Yes, that's the point. You have to believe He's the one true God who is a Trinity."

Oneness believer: "So, Jesus is the Trinity?"

Trinitarian: "No!"

Oneness believer: "So, I don't get your point."

Trinitarian: "Why are you acting so dumb? It's obvious you aren't saved!"